Public Policy Training Institute


The Public Policy Training Institute is a twelve-day professional development program delivered over six months. It is designed to help participants more effectively engage in public policy advocacy.

Applications are open to staff and volunteer board members of Canadian charities who want to advance the mission of their organization through public policy advocacy.

Whether your organization has experience in public policy advocacy or is relatively new to the field, this extraordinary professional development opportunity will help you improve.

Applications are now closed for PPTI 2024

PPTI 2024 Dates

Session One          Thursday, January 11 and Friday, January 12            Calgary

Session Two          Thursday, February 1 and Friday, February 2           Calgary

Session Three       Thursday, February 29 and Friday, March 1              Calgary

Session Four         Thursday, April 4 and Friday, April 5                          Calgary

Session Five          Thursday, May 2 and Friday, May 3                           Calgary

Session Six            Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31                       Calgary


PPTI 2024 Faculty

  • David Morhart
  • Allan Northcott
  • Suzanne Tough
  • Bob Wyatt


PPTI 2024 Fees and Bursaries

All participants are required to pay a course fee of $500.

All participants will receive a travel bursary of $165 and an accommodation bursary of $320 for each session that takes place outside of their home city. For example, participants coming from out of province will receive a total travel bursary of $990 and a total accommodation bursary of $1920 for their six trips to Alberta.

What will I learn?

The program is designed to help leaders within Canadian charities increase their knowledge of the public policy process and their capacity to influence it.

  • It will enhance participants’ understanding of how federal, provincial and municipal governments make policy decisions, so they can participate more effectively in public policy advocacy.
  • It will provide participants with training in how to develop practical and workable policy alternatives through both formal and informal learning formats such as lectures, case studies, readings, panel discussions, group work, and presentations by participants.
  • It will enable each participant to develop a policy ready position by the end of the program that responds to a given issue of individual/organizational interest.
  • It will connect participants with a network of colleagues in charities from across the country who are also working to influence public policy.

On completion of the program, participants will have enhanced their knowledge and skills required to develop, inform, and monitor public policy on issues of strategic importance to their organizations.

What does the Public Policy Training Institute offer?

The program provides:

  • Opportunities to learn from policy experts, including recent and current public servants, leaders in the non-profit sector, and political actors;
  • One-on-one coaching from a faculty member who is an experienced policy professional; and
  • A collegial learning environment with opportunities to learn from peers.

A certificate of completion is provided to all participants who complete the program.

Who can apply?

Staff and board members of Canadian registered charities. Participants should expect to commit 10-15 hours per month to the program.

Typically, participants meet for six sessions, once monthly from January to June. Participants are required to complete five assignments and deliver a final presentation. Each participant will be offered a limited amount of one-to-one coaching support during the program. Each participant will choose a policy proposal to develop throughout the program, and the sessions, coaching and assignments prepare the participant to advance their policy proposal by the end of the course.

“This has been a superb learning experience for me that has already dramatically improved our organization’s performance in the policy change area.”

“I use the lessons I learned in this invaluable course almost daily. It’s changed how I structure campaigns and communications to be much more strategic and effective.”

“Having participated in many different educational experiences delivered at the executive level in both the corporate world and in graduate studies, I consider this experience to be second to none.”

100% of our 2023 participants said they would “strongly recommend the PPTI to a colleague”.

2024 Participants of the Public Policy Training Institute

Chantelle Amba

Communications Specialist

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Karen Bannister

Strategic Advisory

Creative Coast

Colin Bath

Aspire Coordinator


Megan Charlish

PEN Evidence Analyst & Health Policy Lead

Canadian Foundation for Dietic Research

Yolanda Clatworthy

Associate Director, Mitigating Wildfire Initiative

Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Melanie Davis

Executive Director

Physical & Health Education Canada

Fatimah Dini

Refugee Sponsorship Program Lead

Islamic Family and Social Services Association

Coralie D’Souza

Vice-President, Program

Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation

Nadine Graham

Project Specialist


Emilie Grenier

Engagement Manager

Efficiency Canada

Cameron Heenan

Policy Analyst

Vibrant Communities Calgary

Jocelyn Herbert

Grants Manager

Leftovers Foundation

Rosalind Kang

Western Regional Program Coordinator

Canadian Race Relations Foundation

Holly Kletke

Government Relations Officer

Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge

Nogah Kornberg

Co-Executive Director


Sara Krynitzki

Director, Public Affairs and Research

Philanthropic Foundations Canada

Lisa Mackay

Director of Storytelling

Rozsa Foundation

Sammia Malik

Operations Lead

The Northpine Foundation

Brittany McIntosh

Assistant Director of Programs

BGC Winnipeg

Christine Monier

Regional Leader

L’Arche Canada – Western Region

Will Noel

Electricity Analyst

Pembina Institute

Nadja Shamess Merali

Strategic Initiatives Lead

Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

Ali Daoud Smith

Prison Programming, Reentry Support

Islamic Family & Social Services Association

Rispah Tremblay

Senior Manager, Settlement Services

Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers


2023 Participants of the Public Policy Training Institute

Christina Budnick

Compliance & Standards Specialist

Calgary Housing Company

Meghan Cardy

Communications Coordinator

Alberta Museums Association

Marie Christian


Voices: Manitoba’s Youth in Care Network

Mario Clarke

Director of Entrepreneurship & Program Development

YES Employment & Entrepreneurship

Andrea Cox

Manager Government Relations

YWCA Calgary

Cassandra Curtis

Client Intake & Liaison Caseworker

John Howard Society of Red Deer

Trent Daley

Operations Manager

Islamic Family and Social Services Association

Jenn Flynn

Executive Director

APPLE Schools

Lisa Garrisen

Director of Programs

The Children’s Cottage Society

Samuel Green

Policy and Research Specialist


Leslie Hill

Executive Director

Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society

Alexis Hranchuk

Policy Analyst & Executive Assistant

Calgary Drop-in Centre

Safiyah Husein

Senior Policy Analyst

John Howard Society of Ontario

Rebecca Kauffman

Staff Counsel

Environmental Law Centre

Meghan Klein

Executive Director

Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

Carolyn Krahn

Executive Director

Workers’ Resource Centre

Megan Lafferty

Manager of Land Protection Measures

Nature Conservancy of Canada

Jessica Lajoie

Program Specialist

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation

Bart Muusse

Provincial Policy Specilist

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Dean Paddock

Vice-President, Community Engagement

YMCA Calgary

Tessa Penich

Executive Assistant/Program Manager

Vibrant Communities Calgary

Fateema Sayani

Manager, Content & Strategic Communications

Mental Health Commission of Canada

Jason Wang


Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development

Geoff Webber

Associate Director, Community Food Programs

The Alex



2022 Participants of the Public Policy Training Institute

Betsy Agar

Senior (Policy) Analyst

The Pembina Institute

Sidrah Anees

Communications and Grants Coordinator

Burns Memorial Fund

Zahra Bhimani

Strategic Planning Committee Member (Volunteer)

Multi-Generational Housing and Community Centre

Amanda Boadi

Advisor, National Programs

Breakfast Clubs of Canada

Yoni Coodin

Social Innovation Coordinator

Food Matters Manitoba

Sibelle El Labban

Program Officer

Max Bell Foundation

Nada El Masy

Lab Manager – Refugee Livelihood Lab


Gail Haynes

Director Housing Services and Peer Support

CMHA Edmonton

Rachael Howgate

Public Policy and Fund Development Coordinator

SEED Winnipeg Inc.

Beth Hunter

Founding Director

The Food Project

Anila Lee Yuen

President and CEO

Centre for Newcomers

Christina Maes Nino

Executive Director

Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association

Shannon McInnes

Research and Policy Manager

PolicyWise for Children & Families

Nathaniel Miller

Director, Programs

Inn From the Cold

Lauren Murphy

Director of Workforce Development

Clean Foundation

Emily Neilson

Officer, Global Relations Humanitarian Diplomacy

Canadian Red Cross

Alicia Planincic


Business Council of Canada

Jennie Rimstad

Administrative Assistant

Muttart Foundation

Leor Rotchild

Executive Director

Canadian Business for Social Responsibility

Cara Steiner

Executive Director

Prairie Lily Early Learning Centre

Angie Stevenson


St. Brieux Community Child Care Centre

Samantha Vaux

Clinical Team Lead

Islamic Family and Social Services Association

Marokh Yousifshahi

Research and Policy Lead

Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies


2021 Participants of the Public Policy Training Institute

Nagwan Al-Guneid

Communications Lead

The Natural Step/Energy Futures Lab

Traci Anderson

Executive Director

Boys and Girls Clubs of  Kamloops

Sarah Barber

Research and Evaluation Specialist


Katherine Blake


Toronto Foundation for Student Success

Lindsay Boucher

Prairie Chapter Coordinator

Sierra Club of Canada Foundation

Meriam Bravante

Research and Policy Coordinator


Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber

Executive Director

League of Innovators

Diana Bumstead

Advocacy Volunteer

Volunteer Action Centre WR

Susannah Cameron

Manager of Strategic Initiatives


Francis Campbell

Policy & Research Analyst

Capital Regional Housing Corporation

Georgia Carstensen

Senior Manager – Campaigns (Policy & Advocacy)

Heart & Stroke Foundation

Andrea Christensen

Youth Housing Support Worker (YTA Program)

Trellis Society of Community Impact

Sandra Clarkson

Executive Director

Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre Society

Surma Das

Research Coordinator


Andrea Donini

Communications Officer


Jennifer Fischer-Summers

Research Assistant

Community-University Partnership for the Study of Children, Youth and Families (CUP), University of Alberta

Emily Jensen

Network Engagement Coordinator

Imagine Canada

Adam Job

Manager, Public Policy & Research

Imagine Canada

Rachel Rizzuto

Research Manager

Northern Policy Institute

Robyn Romano

Director of Operations

Distress Centre Calgary

Alanna Schwartz

Position Paper Committee Chair

The Trauma-Informed  Care Collective

Ariel Siller


Children’s Literacy Foundation

Anita Simon

Child and Youth Mental Health Lead

Imagine Citizens Collaborating for Health

2020 Participants of the Public Policy Training Institute


Akash Asif

Engagement Specialist

Centre for Suicide Prevention

Amanda Barberio


Healthy Public Policy Unit, Alberta Health Services

Pamela Berg

Director of Resource and Policy Development

Praxis Spinal Cord Institute

Aleysha Christensen

Program Officer

Alberta Parks and Recreation Association

Mehrzad Eftekhar

Project Manager

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS)

Jan Fox

Executive Director

Reach Edmonton Council

Anita Hofer
Ashley Huang

Follow-up Support Worker

Boyle Street Community Services

Michael Hutchison

Growth & Partnerships Manager

Teach For Canada

Nicole Kahal

Conservation Analyst

Miistakis Institute

Brooke Kapeller

Conservation Program Coordinator

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Southern Alberta Chapter

Kolbi Kurkaba

Project & Public Relations Manager

Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division

Rebecca Leong

Alberta Early Learning and Care Leaders Caucus Member (CCCF), Executive Director (A.C.E.)

Alberta Early Learning and Care Leaders Caucus Member (CCCF), Executive Director (A.C.E.)

Chris Markham

Executive Director


Nicolette Miller

Director, Corporate Services

Bishop O’Byrne Housing Association

Rohadi Nagassar


Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT ALBERTA)

Patricia Pasemko

Chief Executive Officer

On Site Placement

Eric Pianarosa

Director of Collective Impact


Melody Santiago

Learning and Development Coordinator

Volunteer Alberta

Christina Steed

Board Member

Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society

Kristin Ward Diaz

Senior Manager, Ecosystem and Public Participation

Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, Community Development Unit


2019 Participants of the Public Policy Training Institute


Jalene Anderson-Baron

Policy and Research Analyst

Capital Region Housing

Meaghan Bell

Strategic Business Analyst

City of Calgary/Calgary Housing Company

Kirsten Boda

Research and Reporting Coordinator


Karin Duff

Director of Early Learning

Rancho Ehrlo Society

Jolene Fawcett

Unity Coordinator

Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary

Chloe Ferguson

Chief of Staff/Program Director, The Early Years

The Martin Family Initiative

Susan Garrow-Oliver

AECEA Board Member

Canadian Child Care Federation/Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA)

Ruhee Ismail-Teja

YMCA Canada National Board Director; Chair, Public Policy & Advocacy Committee

YMCA Canada

Bernadette Johnson

Manager, Public Policy

Imagine Canada

Octavio Rodriguez Lara

Diversity Liaison

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

Lisa Litz

Director Stakeholder Relations

Horizon Housing Society

Sandra MacDougall

Engineer, Highways and Public Works, Whitehorse Yukon

Volunteer, Raven Recycling, Whitehorse Yukon

Beth Mansell

Strategic Project and Operations Coordinator

Sage Seniors Association (Sage)

Josée Méthot

Watershed Planning Manager

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance

John Richardson

Research & Policy Coordinator

Calgary Arts Development Council

Teresa Rose

Assistant Professor

Athabasca University

Peter Schalk

Board Member

Edmonton Social Planning Council

Johanna Schwartz

Communications Lead

The Alex Community Health Centre

Lee Stevens

Community Facilitation and Engagement Specialist

Vibrant Communities Calgary

Sarah Stuebing

Communications and Community Investment Manager

Alberta Real Estate Foundation

Angela Torry


Healthy Public Policy Unit (HPPU), Public Health Surveillance & Infrastructure
Population, Public and Indigenous Health, Alberta Health Services (AHS)

Marie Tremblay

Senior Education Advisor

Alberta Council for Environmental Education

Sue White


Winnifred Stewart Association

Winnifred Stewart Foundation

The following organizations have participated in the Public Policy Training Institute in recent years:

  • ABC Head Start
  • ActionDignity
  • Aga Khan Foundation Calgary
  • Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta
  • Alberta AdaptAbilities Association
  • Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC)
  • Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies
  • Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
  • Alberta Caregivers Association
  • Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research
  • Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities
  • Alberta Council for Environmental Education
  • Alberta Disabilities Forum
  • Alberta Food Bank Network Association
  • Alberta Health Services
  • Alberta Lake Management Society
  • Alberta Museums Association
  • Alberta Real Estate Foundation
  • Alberta Wilderness Association
  • Alzheimer Society of Calgary
  • Antyx Community Arts Society
  • Arthritis Society of AB
  • Autism Society Alberta
  • BC Lung Association
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
  • Bissell Centre
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Kamloops
  • Breakfast Clubs of Canada
  • Burns Memorial Fund
  • Business Council of Alberta
  • Calgary Arts Development
  • Calgary Drug Treatment Court Society
  • Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
  • Calgary Chinatown Seniors Centre Foundation
  • Calgary Counselling Centre
  • Calgary Family Services
  • Calgary Homeless Foundation
  • Calgary Reads
  • Calgary Sexual Health Centre
  • Calgary John Howard Society
  • Canadian Boreal Initiative
  • Canadian Business for Social Responsibility
  • Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division
  • Canadian Child Care Federation
  • Canadian Diabetes Association
  • Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Edmonton Region
  • Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society (CPAWS), AB Chapter
  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), NS Chapter
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • CanLearn Centre/Calgary Learning Centre
  • Capital Region Housing Corporation
  • Caregivers Alberta
  • Carya
  • Centre for Newcomers
  • Centre for Suicide Prevention
  • Children’s Literacy Foundation
  • The City of Edmonton
  • CiRS – Your Community Connector
  • Clean Foundation
  • CMHA Edmonton
  • Community Foundations of Canada
  • Community-University Partnership, University of Alberta
  • Connections Counselling and Consulting Foundation
  • The Counselling Foundation of Canada
  • CUP
  • Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre
  • Distress Centre Calgary
  • Drop In Centre
  • E4C
  • Ecofiscal Commission
  • EcoSpark
  • Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
  • Edmonton Do Likewise Society
  • Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers
  • Edmonton’s Food Bank
  • EndPovertyEdmonton
  • Energy Futures Lab/The Natural Step Canada
  • Environmental Law Centre
  • Enviros
  • Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary
  • Food Banks Alberta
  • Food Matters Manitoba
  • Fort Saskatchewan Families First Society
  • Fuse Social
  • Gateway Association
  • Generations
  • The GRIT Program
  • Health Consumers for Policy Reform
  • The Hearing Foundation of Canada
  • The Hearts and Hammers Society
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association
  • HIV Edmonton
  • Homewood Research Institute
  • Horizon Housing Society
  • Hospice Calgary
  • Humber College
  • Injury Prevention Centre, University of Alberta
  • IntegralOrg
  • Imagine Canada
  • Imagine Citizens
  • Immigrant Sector Council of Calgary
  • Inn From The Cold
  • Islamic Family and Social Services Association
  • JDIC Senior Centre
  • Jewish Family Service Calgary
  • League of Innovators
  • Lifestyle Helping Hands Seniors Association
  • LINKages Society of Alberta
  • Literacy Alberta
  • KidSport Society of Alberta
  • Manitoba Non-profit Association
  • McMan Youth Family & Community Services Association
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • Miistakis Institute
  • Momentum
  • Mount Royal University Institute for Nonprofit Studies
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, AB & NWT Division
  • The Mustard Seed Society
  • Muttart Foundation
  • Neighbourlink
  • Northern Policy Institute
  • Norwood Child & Family Resource Centre
  • Nose Creek Sports and Recreation Association
  • Pathways Community Services Association
  • Pembina Institute
  • PolicyWise for Children and Families
  • Prairie Lily Early Learning Centre
  • Pride Centre of Edmonton
  • Progressive Alternatives Society of Calgary
  • Propellus
  • Prostate Cancer Canada Network
  • Sage Seniors Association
  • SAIT Students’ Association
  • SEED Winnipeg Inc.
  • Servants Anonymous Society of Calgary
  • Shift: The Project To End Domestic Violence
  • Sierra Club of Canada Foundation
  • Sierra Club Canada Foundation – Atlantic Chapter
  • Siloam Mission
  • Sinneave Family Foundation
  • Social Venture Partners
  • Society for Advancement of Excellence in Education
  • Special Olympics Alberta
  • St. Brieux Community Childcare Centre
  • Students’ Union University of Calgary
  • Sustainability Resources
  • Sustainable Food Edmonton
  • Theatre Calgary
  • The Food Project
  • The Trauma-Informed Care Collective
  • Toronto Foundation for Student Success
  • Trellis Society of Community Impact
  • United Nations Association in Canada, Edmonton Branch
  • United Way of Calgary and Area
  • United Way of Central Alberta
  • United Way of Halifax
  • United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
  • University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing
  • UpStart Champions for Children and Youth
  • Vibrant Communities Calgary
  • Vecova
  • Volunteer Action Centre WR
  • Volunteer Alberta
  • Water Matters
  • Women’s Centre of Calgary
  • The Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association
  • Wood’s Homes
  • Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
  • YMCA of Edmonton
  • YW Calgary